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Neidig advances to state tournament in tennis

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News

Boonville sophomore tennis player Emma Neidig became only the second female player in Lady Pirates tennis history to qualify for the state tournament after winning her only match Saturday in the Class 1 Sectional 4 Tournament at Marshall. 

Neidig, 16-2 on the season, qualified for state by beating Margaret Duncan of Father Tolton in straight sets 7-6 (7-2) and 6-2.

In the other singles match, Lillian Kate Davis of Osage won in two sets against Sarah Kiefer of Father Tolton. 

In doubles, Marshall’s No. 1 doubles team of Claudia Maricela Cruz & Lakeshia Thomas and Palmyra’s Kaitlyn Rindom & Maura Gottman both finished 2-0.

Boonville tennis coach Melissa Harvey said Neidig has been working extremely hard all week to prepare for her sectional match.

“Coach Stephanie Green offered some helpful pointers for increasing play strategy and we worked on these enhancements all week,” Harvey said. “I could tell that Neidig felt more confident in her strokes today, as well as her game plan. She executed several put away shots and was able to move her opponent around the court significantly well. This week we also worked on her trust in her net play. She used that trust today to approach the net with faith that she could do what she needed to with the ball. Overall, Neidig’s play at sectionals was the best I’ve seen her play so far this season.

“We are ecstatic about going to state and especially pumped about Neidig having this opportunity as a sophomore. We find out Wednesday who she will play in Springfield on Friday for the first round of state, but whoever that may be, it will be a great learning experience for both her and myself.”

In her only losses this season, Neidig fell to Davis of Osage in the championship in the district tournament at Marshall. However, prior to that match, Neidig had beaten Davis twice previously in the Osage Tournament in a regular season match. Her only other loss came against Caroline Metz of Sedalia Smith-Cotton.

Neidig captured first in the Lady Pirate Open and the Osage Tournament. 

Neidig also played No. 1 doubles with senior Molly Amos. 

The 46th annual MSHSAA Girls Tennis Championships will be held at the Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield.

The individual tournament will be held October 15-17, while the team tournament will take place on October 23-24.

All first-round matches in the Class 2-3 individual tournament will be held on Thursday, Oct. 15, starting at 9 a.m. First-round matches in Class 1 will start at 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 16. 

Class 1 semis and consolation semis will be held on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 9 a.m. while the championship matches will be held at 1 p.m.

Note: The sectional tournament consisted of players from the Class 1 District 8 Tournament and the Class 1 District 7 Tournament in Mexico.